Consumer Willingness to Fly on Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) Electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) Aircraft

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David Ison


For any novel means of transportation to thrive, its success hinges on the willingness of prospective customers to adopt the new system. To explore consumer willingness to participate in Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) by flying on electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, an online survey of 975 individuals in the U.S. was conducted using an existing Willingness to Fly (WTF) scale designed specifically for assessing the acceptance of new aviation technologies and services. Most respondents expressed interest in flying on an eVTOL but planned to wait a few months after service starts before participating in AAM. Overall, the most frequent responses were “agree†and “strongly agree" with being WTF in eVTOLs. The survey offered four different eVTOL flight scenarios, with respondent WTF decreasing as weather or conditions deteriorated. Images of specific eVTOL models were used to assess WTF on each aircraft type. The vehicle with the most unique type of powerplants resulted in the lowest reported WTF. The study also analyzed the WTF of flying on eVTOLs across various demographic attributes. Results showed significant differences between genders, with males having a higher average WTF score. There was a weak negative correlation between WTF and age. Married respondents had the highest WTF, followed by single persons. WTF varied significantly across types of employment, income, and educational attainment. The highest WTF scores were found in the $50,000-74,999 range, with urban respondents having higher WTF than those in suburban and rural locations. Safety and cost were the top two concerns among all levels of WTF. The combination of employment status and marital status was found to be most correlated to WTF. By comprehending the inclination of consumers to travel in eVTOL aircraft, policymakers, manufacturers, and stakeholders can garner valuable insights into market demand, consumer preferences, sustainable transportation, and environmental considerations. Identifying characteristics that support or inhibit customer acceptability can assist in overcoming resistance to adoption and lead to more effective implementation of eVTOLs. Public outreach and education may be warranted to promote familiarity and passion among potential users, increasing interest and involvement. Recommendations for future research include repeating the study with an international sample and exploring willingness to pay for AAM services.

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